4 Easy Steps for Your eBook to Excel
Have you ever thought about writing a book? Many people approaching retirement or who are already retired aspire to become an author. And with the advent of self-publishing, it has never been easier to publish your very own book. In fact, before I started retirementjourneys.com, my initial goal was to write an eBook. (It still remains a goal.) But before I got too far along, I happened to listen to a podcast featuring author Steve Scott. Steve has written many eBooks and has generated upwards of $60,000 a month doing so. In his podcast, he describes what it takes to have a successful eBook. And even if you’re not expecting to make $60k (though that would be nice), why wouldn’t you want to achieve some level of success? Otherwise why bother?
Steve has made available a Kindle Publishing Checklist which takes you from idea to publishing! My goal in this article is to highlight the steps that need to be taken in parallel with writing your book in order to achieve some measure of success.
OK, let’s assume that you are writing or are planning to write an awesome book. That of course is a basic pre-requisite for success. But what else do you need to do in order for your book to succeed? If you follow these 4 easy steps, you will improve your chances for your eBook to excel!
- Build an Audience
Your book will have a higher likelihood of success if you have an audience that is looking forward to reading it. Start out by developing an email list of friends, family, coworkers, neighbors and associates. Your goal should be to grow that list (250 would be ideal but it’s O K to have fewer). In order to do so, you’ll need to network. You can try your hand at blogging, use social media, attend meetups, take training courses and reach out to people who you feel potentially may be helpful.
- Create a Launch Team
From your audience select a subset of 10% – 20%. Ask them if they would be interested in becoming a member of your launch team. Ideally you should engage them before you have published your book because they can help you with editing and provide early constructive feedback.
- Utilize a Multi-faceted Launch Strategy
Now that you have an established network and presence on social media you can use those resources and channels to announce your book launch.
Start out by giving an early free copy to your launch team. Ask them to write a review. Also, find an additional way to reward them. For example, you can give them an audio copy of your book or a free copy of an earlier book.
Next offer either a discount or free promotion for a limited time to the rest of your audience in exchange for a review. Reviews are critical. Their number and ratings influence your book’s ranking which can lead to rapid sales growth. For example, many Amazon customers will buy a book just because it is in the top 100 of its category. So, if you can crack at top 100 list, your sales will grow rapidly!
Depending on the nature of your book, your objectives and audience, you might also consider hosting a webinar or a meetup. Create a sense of urgency by announcing a lower price for a limited time instead of starting out with a high price followed by discounting. Also, this pricing strategy rewards your audience!
- Leverage Amazon
Amazon has proven processes and infrastructure to help you launch your book. True, you do give up some control but unless you have prior publishing experience, Amazon is a good way to go.
If you use Amazon, you’ll need to publish your book in the Kindle format. While there are many free and low cost software conversion tools (for example, convert a word or pdf document for Kindle), you will save yourself time, avoid frustration and have a better formatted book if you use a professional eBook conversion service.
You should consider enrolling in Amazon KDP Select. Here’s what you get in exchange for giving Amazon exclusive rights for 90 days. When Amazon Kindle Unlimited customers read just 10% of your book, you receive a royalty. And what can happen is that if you have one book that is popular, Kindle Unlimited customers will check out your other books thereby stimulating sales of older books. KDP Select also offers two promotional tools – countdown deal and free promotions. Lastly, KDP select expands your potential audience to include the Kindle Lending Library and to other countries.
So there you have it. Regardless of how you measure success – unit sales, sales revenue or positive reviews, follow these 4 easy steps for your eBook to excel!
Good luck with your book!